The Welsh Blood Service is encouraging Swansea shoppers to find out more about giving blood by discovering their own blood type at the Quadrant Shopping Centre as part of a nation-wide awareness drive to find new blood donors.
Taking place on Wednesday 17 April, a team of specialists from the organisation will be available from 11am until 2pm at Quadrant shopping Centre. As part of their ‘What’s My Type’ campaign, using one small pinprick of blood, members of the public will be able to find their most likely blood type within just a few minutes.
The team will also be promoting the importance of giving blood and encouraging people to book onto one of many donation sessions that take place across Swansea, as well as answering any questions about blood donation eligibility.
The 100,000 units of blood collected by the Welsh Blood Service each year helps patients across Wales that are receiving a range of treatments and procedures, ranging from supporting cancer patients through chemotherapy to helping mothers and babies that require blood during childbirth. Loyal blood donor Jean Gough, 79 from Blackpill, was recently recognised for donating blood over 100 times:
“I started giving blood as a dare! After making my first donation I discovered that I was O Negative – a rare blood group which can be used by anyone, including babies. After I found that out I was honoured to be able to help out.
“Since I first started donating the rules around giving blood have changed – there used to be an upper age limit on donating, but thankfully they removed the upper age limit if you’ve given once before your 65th birthday so I’ve been able to continue donating.
“It only really dawned on me at the ceremony just how much I’ve been able to help patients in need as each donation I made could have save up to three lives.
“If you’re thinking about signing up, you absolutely should. You even get a cup of tea and a biscuit!”
With a number of donation sessions available in Swansea and the wider Gower Peninsula region, there are plenty of opportunities each week for current and new blood donors to make a lifesaving contribution.
Anyone aged between 17 and 66, who weighs over 7st 12lbs (50kg), is healthy and not subject to certain medical exclusions can volunteer to become a blood donor.
Lisa Hartley, Quadrant Shopping Centre manager, said: “By working in partnership with such organisations as the Welsh Blood Service, we are able to ensure that crucial services such as this have a platform in which to engage directly with our visitors.
“This event offers a great opportunity in which to speak to professionals and learn more about what it means to give blood. The WBS is a service which is so vitally important in helping to save lives and anyone who is eligible can do their bit. I’m sure that the day will prove worthwhile to everyone involved.”
For further information on Welsh Blood Service, please visit welshblood.org.uk or call 0800 252 266.